Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/338

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AWAY FROM ROME!

was staying, and the sick Pontiff barely escaped with his life. Then he was carried on farther to Florence, and thence to the Carthusian Monastery. Finally he was borne in a sedan over Turin across the Alps to Grenoble and eventually to the citadel of Valence. Here he ended his days during the summer of 1799, dying with the cross upon his breast.

Funeral orations were held, not merely for the Pope, but for the Papacy. The goddess of freedom was already erected on San Angelo, and her foot was on the tiara.

After his campaigns in Egypt and Syria, Napoleon buttressed his power when the fortune of batde favoured him at Marengo, and made a peace with Austria at Luneville. The road to the imperial throne was now open to him; but almost at this very time the Conclave was in session in Venice. Months passed before the thirty-five cardinals could reach an agreement, for the members of the Curialist party, who were resolved to defend the rights of the Papal States, were opposed to the political desires of Austria. Finally Monsignor Consalvi, Secre- tary of the Conclave, proposed Cardinal Chiaramonri. He declared that it was well known that this cardinal was not hostile to France, and that as Bishop of Imola he had even been in friendly relations with Napoleon. It was possible, he thought, to rely more on the Republic than on the Catholic monarchies, since the young General had accorded a dignified funeral to Pope Pius and seemed to hold religion and ecclesiastical order in respect. Moreover Bonaparte for his part held Cardinal Chiaramonri in high esteem. He was elected; and out of veneration for the martyr who had preceded him, he took the name of Pius VII.

This Pope was descended from a noble family, had entered the Benedictine Order when he was only seventeen and had later been professor of theology in Parma and Rome. His agreeable disposition, kindness and friendliness won the hearts of many. When the revolu- tionary French had invaded his diocese, he had quietly stood his ground and had preached a sermon in which democracy and the Gospel were declared in harmony. To this Bonaparte had replied by declaring it a Jacobin discourse. Nevertheless Pius did not seem to be called to serve as helmsman during a storm. Napoleon declared that he was a Iamb, a good man, a generous angel. But what he lacked in states-


CARDINAL